Current Wisdom

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American Prospect

An apparently humorless AmPro intellectualoid catalogues specimens of what very well might qualify as the magazine's ideal mums:

A mother tells her child that Haagen Dazs is a special medicine for mommies because she doesn't want to share. Another purposely ruins her daughter's favorite T-shirt with red nail polish. One joins Weight Watchers so she has a place to go by herself once a week. Another mom admits, "I can't wait to wean my daughter so I can get stoned again."

(April 2009)

The Progressive

Interviewed by another glassy-eyed scrivener from imbecility's Old Faithful, one Miss Arundhati Roy, described by the New York Times as "India's most impassioned critic of globalization and American influence," plays the role of the late historian Edward Gibbon bending over the corpse not of Rome but of Washington, D.C:

Q: What was your response to Obama's election?

Roy: The fact that the American people wanted a change, that they wanted something else, meant a lot, because the last time they wanted the same guy back, which was devastating. So this makes me feel better about the American people.

Obama is going to be presiding over perhaps the debacle, the undoing, of the American empire. And that doesn't need to worry the American people, because the Romans are still around and the Brits are still around, and the Americans will still be around and might be slightly more relaxed. It might be easier to be an American when there isn't an American empire.

(March 2009)

Marie Claire

On the occasion of Earth Month, a shapely editrix serves up eight libidinous items for Marie Claire's slutty readership. We pass on but four, out of concern for our readers' sexual hygiene:


In honor of Earth Day, some green playthings to spruce up your sex life:

1) Love Yourself, Love Your Planet. Take landfill-clogging batteries out of the equation with Sola, a small bulletshaped vibrator powered by the sun. ($69.95;

4) Wet and Wild. Lube up with Hathor Aphrodisia's Lubricant Pure, an organic formula made from seven plant-based ingrethents and fortified with libido-boosting Chinese herbs, like horny goat weed. ($18.50; smittenkitten

5) S&M with a Conscience. Earth Erotics' Standard Recycled Rubber Whip is a hand-crafted spanker made from recycled car and truck tire parts. ($40;

8) Give Some, Get Some. Trade in your broken Rabbit and worn-out handcuffs for a $10 coupon and free shipping on your next sex toy through the mail-in Sex Toy Recycling Program (recycle Sorry, curbside pickup not available.

(April 2009)

New York Times Book Review

More evidence of intellectual torpor at the moribund Times as filed by Philip W. Bennett, whistleblower?

To the Editor:

With reference to the musical talents of the Wittgensteins, your reviewer did not mention the prodigious whistling talents of Ludwig, the philosopher. It is reported that Ludwig could whistle the entire parts of string quartets along with those playing instruments. When he visited the United States in 1949 as a guest of Norman Malcolm of Cornell, Malcolm reports, Wittgenstein whistled whole symphonies on the drive from New York City to Ithaca.

Philip W. Bennett

Hamden, Conn.

(March 22, 2009)

The New Republic

Another sad effort at humor from one of the New Republic's legendary teacher's pets laboriously improvising under the fanciful title "The LesserKnown Think Tanks ofWashington":

Heritage Foundation RAW

The new home for policy recommendations too crazy conservative for the Heritage Foundation. Rejecting the sissified scholarship of "Red" Roger Ailes and "Comrade Kristol," Heritage RAWs all-white, all-decrepit roster advances an outlandishly reactionary platform in rooms so smoke-filled it is said that members can only identify each other by their hacking coughs. …